As the sun rose through the lush green leaves, the stillness in the air was shattered by the war chants of the crazed green-skinned Orks. From their position in the depths of the Keil’s forest, they now charged straight for the city boundary of Treta. Startled by enemies at their back-door, a small company of Cadian Astra Militarum men, resting from their victorious efforts at the cities’ Amber Gate, now clambered to their feet and dashed for cover.
That is how this battle started; the orks deployed on the outskirts of the forest that surrounds the southern quadrant of the city of Treta. The Cadian force, smaller in size but surrounded with better cover and concealment opportunities, had to hold the Orks off from taken the 5 objectives. If the Orks finished the game with 4 or 5 objectives, a major Ork victory would be declared. 2 or 3 objectives would give them a minor victory, while anything less would be a tactical win for the Cadian troops.
The Orks had a Blitz Bommer but thankfully they had to keep it in reserve – I really didn’t want the Cadians coming under the bomb sights of that too soon. I decided from past experience to keep 2 Chimera’s full of troops in reserve; this would give me the flexibility of deploying them later on, in the gaps that would no doubt follow!
The Ratlings infiltrated into the centre tall building, giving the 7 strong team good sights over the entire table as well as good cover. The snipers, combined with some great cover and firing positions for the lascannon team and Leman Russ – I was confident we’d be slaying some Ork’s pretty soon…
Unfortunately the Ork Deff Koptas were able to scout ahead at the beginning and then immediately swoop down onto my Leman Russ in turn one. Quickly bringing the fight to me!
On the left side of the table, 2 Ork trucks (1, a looted Hellhound) and a squad of Storm Boyz quickly ate up the distance separating the two armies. A ruin and a small copse of tree’s masked their arrival. The Ork passengers sprayed a solid wall of death onto my Platoon Command Squad on objective 5, forcing them to ground but still taking multiple casualties. Across the table at the other side, a explosion of colour and light lit up the buildings as the shokk attack gun fired but narrowly missed its target. The Cadian Command HQ were just gathering themselves from the warp attack when they received a direct hit from the Gorkanaut – slaying 3 of its members instantly. Importantly here, not only did I forget they had camo (+1 cover) AND Feel No Pain, but the Ork’s had managed to slay my Master of Ordnance. Sad times!
Back in the centre of the table, a well placed shot from the Ork looted wagon shredded several Ratlings, their cover being wildly insufficent. Cadian’s were dying left, right and centre!
Thankfully it was finally time for the Militarum to respond – and we started strong! The Hellhound tank sped towards the trees before turning its turret and firing a torrent of flame down upon both approaching trucks and the Storm Boyz. The boyz, with their attached rocket packs, instantly exploded as the air around them became super heated. Both trucks lost hull points, with one losing a second (and its weapon) to a follow up melta attack. Also at this point, I forgot that opened top vehicles receive a +1 on the damage table… do’h!
The Ratlings, down to only 3 guys already, fired at the Warboss but failed to land any damaging hits. This failure was then mirrored by the lascannon squad failing to hit the Gorkanaut with any of their 3 heavy weapons. Shocking! The mortar squad landed a few hits, killing an insignificant number of Ork’s – no-one important.
The Leman Russ didn’t do much better, although did squeeze a single point of damage against the lumbering Gorkanaut. On top of this, all order requests failed! Grrrr.
The Orks responded by calling in their crazed Blitz dive Bommer, whom immediately went to work and swept down upon the Russ and Commander Yarrick. In a blaze of rapid, bullet lobbing, gunfire, Yarrick was slain in a single swift role of the dice! The Deff Koptas flew over his lifeless body to attack my units from the rear, however failed to breach the thick Russ armour.
Back on the left side, Ork’s started springing from their trucks and dashing towards objective 5. Despite their best efforts the small Platoon squad, outnumbered somewhere in the region of 3 to 1, were quickly eradicated the approaching green skins.
The wagon fired once again at the aloft Ratling snipers; however this time the gunning mechanism swung wildly on its axis and 3 friendly Ork killa cans received hits to their rear armour. Sadly for the Cadian, none of the green-on-green fire caused any long lasting damage.
The Warboss and his squad of Nobs sprang through a gap in a wall to take objective 3. Thankfully their proximity to the Ratlings forced the shokk attack gun from firing in that direction, sparing the snipers from taking even more casualties. High up in their building, the Ratlings went to ground, attempting to maximise their survivability.
The Gorkanaut, still lumbering forward from the forest edge, fired into the depths of a Cadian squad caught out in the open. In a hail of bullets and crude rockets, several infantrymen perished despite the Sergeant ordering them to ground.
The Cadian lascannon squad quickly responded to the death of their comrades by lighting up the Gorkanaut with multiple shots; however their shots were dwarfed by a gigantic explosion upon the Gorkanauts hull as a Manticore missile tore large chunks of metal from its armour. Several nearby Orks, sheltering behind the metallic beast, we’re peppered with burning twisted metal. Seizing the opportunity, the Leman Russ fired all its weapons at the burning Gorkanaut. As the smoke cleared, the gigantic mechanised fortress shuddered to a stop, immobilised and crew stunned.
Back across the battlefield, the Imperial Hellhound incinerated several more Ork boyz as they stood around objective 5 cheering. Caught in the firery torrent, a nearby Ork truck also burst into fire and slowed to a halt. Continuing to receive small arms fire, the Ork boyz, already tormented by the visions of the burning squad mates, now turned and fled for the safety of the forest. Objective 5 was out of their green grubby hands!
Passing their fleeing kind, a second squad of Boyz quickly retook objective 5 and fired on a second Platoon Command unit. Retaliating fire from the Cadian made little inrodes into the flanks of greens skins now that they were in the safety of a ruin.
The Blitz Bommer banked sharply, dropping bombs onto the dug-ig mortars squad. High speed ordnance met ammo boxes and detonated in multiple bright red flashes, slaying one team before they could take cover. With their own ammo now exploding around them, the remaining two teams scrambled over the ruins and ran for safety.
Amidst the explosions, the ground the crumbling Cadian force were stood on continued shaking – marking the Chimera’s arrival amongst the buildings and fallen comrades. They instantly deploying 20 reinforcements of infantry who started firing calmly and uniformly at the ever-closer Ork units. The concentrated fire of multi-lasers and bolters from the Chimera’s, seemingly catching the Orks off guard, sent 2 Deff Koptas and 1 Killa Kan to their graves. Even a few of the Warboss’ Nobs were slain by lasgun fire, weakening their strong grip on objective 3.
With green-skins breathing down on the flank of the Manticore’s armour, it let fly with a devastating payload. Seconds after launch, the targeted Gorkanaut across the table exploded in a mass of flames. Mechanised limbs and Ork crew were vaporised in a vibrant flash of white and yellow. Smoke bellowed from the beast as three huge Ork Nobs in layers of thick armour and armed to the teeth, clambered from the wreckage.
The lascannon team once again opened fire yet hit nothing!
Enraged with the destruction of the Gorkanaut (or the fact they now had to run) they made a beeline for the Leman Russ. Hearing the launch of the Manticore missile over the vox network, the Russ crew had already readied their guns on the bay doors of the Gorkanaut. As the 3 Orks charged down the Russ they were hit with volley after volley of shots. One Ork fell immediately yet two lumbered on, seemingly ignoring the large wounds their twisted bodies now showed.
Halfway through the 6 turns, the Ork’s were already sporting a minor victory. Will the arrival of the Chimera’s turn the tide for the Cadian’s? Will the destruction of the Gorkanaut spur the green-skins on to a rage fuelled fight amongst the ruins? Can the lascannon team start hitting their targets or will the Blitz Bommer continue racking up kills?
Only the future will tell… [To be continued]